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Albert Lea drive-thru celebration planned for Matson at Edgewater Park

In addition to welcome home celebrations planned in Waseca and Freeborn for Waseca Officer Arik Matson, a separate welcome home drive-thru celebration is planned to take place in Albert Lea in Edgewater Park later next week.

Abi Gerdes, who is a friend of the Matsons and who is organizing the event, said the Albert Lea celebration is planned for 2 p.m. Oct. 24 starting at the west entrance to Edgewater Park and continuing through to the park’s exit to Lakeview Boulevard.

Gerdes said people are invited to line the sides of the roadway, following social distance guidelines, as police and first responders lead Matson through.

People are encouraged to wear any Matson Strong T-shirts or gear they may have and to bring posters and balloons.

Matson was shot in the head Jan. 6  while responding to a call and has since undergone numerous surgeries and months of therapy. He will return home to Freeborn on Monday for the first time since the shooting.

“He’s just so involved in the community, and we all have been following him and love him,” Gerdes said. “It would only make sense to celebrate his life and his homecoming, just showing him how much we care with signs and balloons.”

Peppered Cow food truck will also be available at the event.